At times the requirements to enter the Kingdom of God seem complex or daunting. Jesus, always eager to bless us and bring us to his Kingdom, teaches his disciples that innocence will always enter the Kingdom, and that wanting, really wanting to enter it will bring us there. We are not innocent, but what takes the place of innocence is our always trying, and our always asking for help in things we know are unattainable by our own efforts.
As we know from so much human endeavor, nothing happens unless we really, really want it. The disciples made a mistake: they failed to realize that Jesus wants to bless everyone, even though it is the least person wanting to come to him. As the Psalmist says: let those who hope in you not be stopped by me, O Lord God!
—John Kilgallen, SJ, a Chicago-Detroit province Jesuit, is emeritus professor at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome.